Have you been to the relationship deli? You know, where you’re dreaming of a great relationship and pretty soon, it starts to feel like you’re ordering a sandwich instead of discerning your vocation?
The video is obviously a spoof. It’s poking fun at some of the pitfalls and painful realities of modern dating. But even though it exaggerates for humor, there is quite a bit of truth in it as well, like my single friends can attest to.
If you know all too well what it’s like to visit the relationship deli, here are three things that can help move your love life in a less frustrating direction.
Start your search in the best place
The woman in the video first takes a look at the “Pre-Fixed Relationships.” Pretty much the only decent option on this list is the “So in love, makes others sick” option. Which happens to be sold out. The other options are things like the “One sided,” “The Booty Call,” and “The Changeroo.”
I know that this is a spoof video, and it’s not meant to be taken too seriously. But let’s go ahead and look at it seriously anyway.
As Catholics, we’re in sharp opposition to most of secular society when it comes to certain aspects of romantic relationships. The most obvious point of difference we can see here is our view on sex. Some might sees a “Booty Call” relationship as a valid option. But as Catholics, we know that an uncommitted sexual relationship is a really dangerous kind of relationship to enter into.
What about “The Changeroo”? This is a relationship where two people cheat on their significant others with one another. Now they think that they’ll be able to have a good relationship with one another. Even this (presumably) secular video acknowledge that this type of relationship isn’t a great option.
The deli worker woman says that the two people “for some reason think that this time around’s gonna be different.” Her body language tells us how bizarre she thinks this assumption is. The customer woman agrees. If this is the type of relationship options that are out there and even popular in the secular dating world, might it not be wiser to start our dating search among fellow Catholics or at least Christians?
The same could be said if we look at the “One-Sided” relationship. The deli worker explains that you’ll be doing all the work in this relationship. This scenario could certainly happen anywhere. However, we’re likely to have the best chances of finding someone who will love us sacrificially if we search for a Catholic who already understands spiritual the value of dying to self.
Getting away from the relationship deli
It’s true. Online dating can feel like a stop into the relationship deli at times. Do you think you know more or less what you’re looking for in a partner? If you do, it can seem pretty straightforward to start an online dating search for the specific criteria that you’re after. Remind you of the deli?
But, as attractive as this in-control way of thinking can be for a lot of us, it isn’t always what’s best for us. Love doesn’t always work the way we think it will. Attraction certainly isn’t predictable.
Don’t assume that you know exactly what kind of partner can help you grow in holiness. Instead, try making room for God to surprise you. Concretely, this might mean being open to going on a date with an acquaintance who is a little different than your regular type.
Or it could mean making use of the new match feature on the Catholic Singles app. We match you with people who don’t have all of the qualities you have in mind. However, they just might be a great fit!
Don’t resign yourself to settling
This video ends with the customer asking how long the relationship she picked will last, and how much it will cost her. The deli worker tells her it should last two to three years. It will cost her ten percent of her dignity and the best years of her fertility. The customer thinks about this, comments on how steep a price it is, and then concludes that it’s better than being alone.
Then both women laugh. But it quickly turns into a cry-laugh. If you watch it with subtitles, it actually says, “forced laughter mixed with incoherent mutterings of desperation.”
The lesson here is obvious. It’s not better than being alone.
Loneliness is real, and it hurts. But it’s not a good reason to jump into a relationship with someone who will treat you with less dignity than you deserve.
If we watch this video with the pessimistic mentality that there really are only the terrible options left out there for us, we’re settling for much less than God wants for us. God doesn’t want us to have to suffer through a relationship with someone who checks out other people, looking for someone more attractive than us.
He doesn’t want us to endure dating someone who will never even try to fulfill us emotionally. He certainly doesn’t want us to settle for a person who wants to use us for our sexuality and then discard us.
It might feel sometimes like all the good options are “sold out” like in this video.
But we need to ask God for the strength to persevere in seeking someone who will treat us with the dignity and love we deserve, rather than merely settling for one of these options that can appear to be “better than being alone.”
Ready to meet an unexpected match? Create an account on Catholic Singles today. We’ll help you create an online dating profile in less than ten minutes. Then, you can connect with other single Catholic men and women online and message them for free!